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Student Profile: Spencer Greening

February 14, 2020

PhD student in Individualized Interdisciplinary Studies

Al’algyax Laxyuubs Gitk’a’ata (The Territory of the Gitga’at Speaks): Language, Place-based Knowledge, and Environmental Stewardship in the Heart of Gitga’at Territory

Spencer’s Ph.D. research emphasizes the importance of Indigenous knowledge and stewardship of land in the context of colonial management practices and law. Specifically, it explores how the connections among Indigenous pedagogy, language, and the sharing of place-based knowledge are linked to heritage preservation, identity, and more sustainable environmental management. Spencer is analyzing one of the Cultural Keystone Places in his home territory, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, where his Elders were born and raised in a life of fluent Gitga’at culture, language, and ecological relationships. By working with their ancestral knowledge systems, he is able to highlight local Indigenous knowledgeand its vital role in academic scholarship, Canadian law and policy, and the promotion of environmental awareness. His research is also unique as it is led by his community and rooted in Indigenous research methodologies and frameworks. This ensures its contributions to cultural continuity, self-determination, Indigenous research, and decolonization.